Posted in Derren's Posts

Posted by Derren Brown May 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Been trying to sleep off this run-down state and have had to delay my trip by a day to get better. But over the last couple of days have finished Rufus Wainwright and done a fairly speedy Jack Nicholson:

The Jack is a bit more like my old style. I was itching to paint something and it seemed like fun. It’s much smaller than Rufus – 2’x3′ instead of 5’x4′. I imagine I may tinker a little more with it when I get back from my trip. So far it represents about a day’s work. I have yet to get these photographed and up on the site: I shall do that too when I return.

Right – ‘spose I must pack.

May 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm
Will Chaloner says:

A prodigious talent you have Derren. Love Jack.

May 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm
Danielle says:

Yum yum yum! Lovely! x

May 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm
Kls says:

Absolutely incredible! You have captured rufus perfectly. Spell check wants to correct rufus to rigid, hmmm…

May 25, 2010 at 6:03 pm
Fiona says:

Great paintings, the Jack Nicholson one is my fave 🙂

May 25, 2010 at 6:05 pm
Daniel says:

The Jack is absolutely incredible! it’s accurate and hilarious

May 25, 2010 at 6:06 pm
Pip says:

Cool. -x-

May 25, 2010 at 6:08 pm
Beth says:

Amazing! What will you do with them?

May 25, 2010 at 6:10 pm
Stephen says:

Wow, Darren these paintings are amazing! Clearly you are a man of many talents.

May 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm
scott ward says:

wow you just seem to be good at everything, i love to have my mind controlled by you, just to see if you could make me less shy and stuff your an inspiration

May 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm
Fran says:

The Rufus Wainwright one stands out hugely for me from ones I’ve seen of your work.

May 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm

They’re simply wonderful paintings, Derren. So beautifully articulate in detail and colour. Gorgeous.
Was wondering if, in the future when you have more to add, you’ll perhaps be doing another Portraits book? I did so love the previous one (which you so kindly signed for me at Crawley).

Have a lovely holiday and please relax & enjoy it. Sounds to me that you’re having trouble switching off as you’re already thinking of things you must do when you return. So don’t tweet, don’t blog, just enjoy your ME time while away in beautiful Italy.

Take care with hugs,

LC x

May 25, 2010 at 6:29 pm
Rhian says:

Wow Derren. You must have got up at 3am to have done Jack (so to speak) in a day.

Enjoy your trip and see you when you get back!


May 25, 2010 at 6:35 pm
Jacqueline says:

I like the new style, although content not to everyones taste. So when’s Phillis gonna get a lick of painterly exposure hmmm. Enjoy your time off, don’t worry about us lot, honest, no really, you enjoy your holiday, without guilt of course, peeps will just have to find something else to do, any suggestions? 😀 Tara

May 25, 2010 at 6:36 pm
Shaun Wright says:

simply stunning, i want one :<

May 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm
Emily says:

Woah woah woah woah woah! Two paintings that quickly?! …wow. You’ve really captured the personality of Jack Nicholson – cheeky, sauve and still young in character. You are SO talented. When you get on your flight to Italy (?) there will be loads if people who will tell you they adore you. They’re so friggin lucky. Take the compliments from them and have a nice time. 🙂

May 25, 2010 at 6:39 pm


May 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm
DioniC says:

They are absolutely amazing Derren!! I can’t believe how quickly you can paint portraits as fantastic as that. Superb! 🙂
Hope you’re feeling back to normal soon and enjoy your trip to Italy. xXx

May 25, 2010 at 6:49 pm
Sarah Boyle says:

Amazing! You are a truly gifted guy Derren. Get well soon x

May 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm
Eric says:

is there anything that Derren has attempted lately that he isnt fantastic at?


May 25, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Derren this is absolutely fabulous I would love to be able to paint and draw like this

May 25, 2010 at 7:17 pm
Jai Seed says:

Dig them both. Rufus is way cool. I bet he’ll love it! Love seeing your stuff . Thx

May 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm
Peter too says:

You’re sick, had to reschedule your flight but still come up with these type of paintings???? Or is it more a feverish system you paint from and therefor you’re not so feeling well was only to your painting’s benefit. Or … Oh well … Nice paintings .. spoke today with someone who likes doing portraits most of all as well, started with caricatures as well when she was younger .. left it for quite some time (many years) but now that she is getting closer to retirements she starts to pick it up again.

Italy is bloody hot right now … steamy as some theatres .. Enjoy the siesta time and have wonderfull long nice warm evenings whereever you are, and the food .. and such ..

May 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm
chris says:

Both are freaking great… Love Jack!
I doubt it’s your preferred manner of subject, but looking at these images, my mind is pushed to wonder how you would visually interpret Heath Ledger’s Joker from the Dark Knight. :/

May 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm
sarah says:

So you SEE in so many ways Derren…. I love that you do this….

And Jack in a day (so far)…. Nice.

I missed the previous exhibition… I’d love to attend another…. Fab x

May 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm
Sarah says:

Its almost annoying how the already gifted people of this world posses yet MORE amazing talent in other areas!
I love your paintings, and actually like the older style better.
(Just don’t start making music too or I really will flip out, haha!)

May 25, 2010 at 7:55 pm
G. says:

WOW! good stuff Derren. You should have your own gallery! xx

May 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm
Hannah says:

Such amazing painting! your so talented!, Have a lovely time away and look after yaself!!! …Ever need a photographer im Happy to help =)

May 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm

HI Derren

To be too worn out to get on a plane to Italy, you must be totally exhausted! When you’re resting, you complete two paintings? Mind you, if it’s a pleasure, it’s not work, is it?

The paintings are fantastic, especially Rufus, but the Jack Nicholson one made me giggle because it’s a great exaggeration of his personality and looks.

I do hope you have the best of times/recuperation on your hols and come back fighting fit and ready to enjoy the rest of your tour.

All the best

C 🙂

May 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Superb. I wish I could draw like this but I’m more of a cartoonist…!

You’re a true artist – however, I am not surprised to see this! I believe your ability to do these portraits goes hand in hand with the stuff I see you do in your shows, simply because you have the ability to find the person’s real personality. My wife is a photographer, and she somehow manages to do the same thing when she takes someone’s portrait – she makes their inner personality come through, it’s not just a depiction of what the person looks like. (if you like, check out

Best regards,


May 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm
Paul Huntley says:

wow Derren. Your technical skill is astonishing enough but the way you capture the “essence” of your subjects is on another level entirely. The Jack N portrait is great fun but the Rufus pic is just so emotionally intense…. superb work again D. I’ve been thinking about how your various seemingly disperate talents can possibly be connected… maybe your brain just works a lot better than mine!

May 25, 2010 at 8:52 pm
Janespoon says:

A day’s work? That’s just so amazing. I love it. Hope you feel better soon… x

May 25, 2010 at 8:58 pm

typically how long does each one take ???

May 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm
Jenny says:

I think Rufus painting is is I’m in love with it. I’ll buy it.

I’m sending all the kind helping spirits from the 7th reality that I’m in contact with your way. Rest and don’t worry. Your deserve it, sounds like hard work to keep up such a Fantastic Show. Saw it last year. Still Amazed.

Big virtual hugs.

May 25, 2010 at 9:15 pm
Dave says:

Your painting of Rufus is awesome. I can feel the emotion – especially from his eyes. Well done!

May 25, 2010 at 9:27 pm
Paul Huntley says:

hang on… you did this while feeling a bit under the weather? ok. i’m just going off to a quiet corner to sulk now :p

May 25, 2010 at 9:30 pm
Hatster says:

Amazing. I’m taken aback at the speed at which you work, too.

Rufus is my favourite. That gaze…


May 25, 2010 at 9:55 pm
Silvu says:

Bloody hell.. You are talented. Don’t die soon, even when you are talented don’t die(like ll other talented people).. Because I need to get enough money and some year come to see you in UK. (I live in Finland) I don’t have even money to spent to trainticket right now.. But some day I will come to see your show or something. Hell yeah! ^___^ ,,/

May 25, 2010 at 10:33 pm
Rebekah says:

Loved the Rufus.

I hope it helped rejuvenate you from your tired-worn-down-sick feeling.

May 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm
JayKay says:

You know… I sometimes hate you. Derren…

May 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm
spiderabc1 says:

Almost laughed out loud when I saw this Jack. (In a good way). Wonder if Derren has ever forgotton the passport¿ In the meantime there are some La La Land episodes on the box!

May 25, 2010 at 11:05 pm
Thistooshallpass says:

You’ve captured so much emotion and depth in your painting of Rufus Derren. He is a sensitive talented man and I guess it takes one to know one which is why it’s a truly beautiful piece of work. Hope you can unwind enough to enjoy your holiday….try to get a massage……it helps to relieve stress when my head is racing at a hundred miles an hour. Take care of yourself xx

May 25, 2010 at 11:20 pm
Diane Brown says:

Loving your new work there Derren! Hope you get the time to do some more soon 🙂
Hope you have a lovely time in Italy !
Diane x

May 25, 2010 at 11:47 pm
Sabina says:

Wow. Another awesome painting. I can just hear Jack’s cheeky laugh as I look at it . I’m sure you store these paintings up and then say oh yes, I just popped this one out today. It’s too amazing to have been done in one day! Rufus is still my favourite though.
Note to self: Must work faster…

I agree with Lady Claire. Think you should forget about your fans and really try and switch off for a few weeks, take it easy and get back to 100% health. It must be hard with the high you get after performing but I hope you manage it and have a really lovely, relaxing holiday. Enjoy your trip!

Looking forward to the last Investigates on Monday, it looks like it’s going to be very interesting.

Silvu – get someone to buy you a ticket as a present. Hope you can make it to a show sometime.

May 26, 2010 at 1:10 am
DTv says:

The eye’s are wrong.

May 26, 2010 at 4:08 am
Ale says:

Derren, consider painting Orlando Bloom!! You are so talented!! <3

May 26, 2010 at 9:21 am
Rob says:

I have also been starting a new portrait. This time it is a couple together, but I keep messing up the proportions.
It seems as if you just ‘paint’ and the image appears. When i try that all i get is a bloody mess. My work needs to be calculated and precise. I measure and measure the angles, lines and relative sizes of the elements. Only when I have been at it with an eraser several thousand times does a slight resemblance start to appear. People tell me I am naturally talented, but I don’t believe a word of it. Portraiture is not easy at all. It is painstaking. My reason for mentioning this: I would love to know if your work ‘flows’ out of you, or do you struggle with the canvas? Does it fight to stay hidden, revealing only fragments of realism until the whole work is exposed?

May 26, 2010 at 9:32 am
Rob says:

Or does the face seem ‘obvious’ to you, appearing as a hallucinated tracery superimposed on blank board?
When you paint a nose, is it the right size straight away? I try not to press too hard with my pencil because I know that if I make an impression on the paper i will be unable to change the shape or size effectively. I have developed ways of overcoming my inability to really ‘see’ an image. What do you do?

It is tempting to believe that you have used thought-bending techniques to enable yourself to ‘see’ effectively. Probably nonsense.

Either way, the quality is amazing. I know several talented portrait artists through artists’ websites such as Redbubble and Deviantart. While you are unlikely to win the BP prize, your work really does stand up to the best of them. Well done.

May 26, 2010 at 10:46 am
chris rotchell says:

excellent artist in all fields,when are you going to paint the new doctor who? That’ll be a weird one

May 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm
Thistooshallpass says:

Just received a ‘flyer’ through the post from a theatre in Clacton (saw you there a couple of years ago Derren) How ironic……it’s for “Joe Power” lol somehow I don’t think I’ll be going Enjoy your Hols Suexx

May 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm
Mary says:

Darren you a talented old kidney! Well not so much of the old. Fantastic drawings but I must say that I think you are talented also at confronting the people you are investigating and that is no easy task- unlike John Humphreys you get the balance right so that we don’t end up feeling sorry for the villians. Well done dude.

May 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm
alan says:

Or is this just me? When you experience someone demonstrating a talent you don’t possess, its potentially awe inspiring. But if you have a skill, and people comment, its difficult to understand what they’re raving about.

May 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm
Sabine says:

Fab portraits, you are a clever and talented guy, Derren! and looking at Jack’s just a big kid at heart (and in 1 day?), hyperactive at that..
Hope you can rest that busy brain and tired body of yours, some auto suggestion might help (you know “while you are gazing at the warm and tranquil landscape, you can sink into this comfy chair and with every sip of soft wine you can feel your body relax more and more, the warm sun on your face makes your eyelids a little heavier, and with the next few deep breath you can just allow them to gently close.., ok, really bad, but must go lie down now..).

Take good care of yourself, or better still let others 🙂
Sabine x

May 28, 2010 at 9:44 am
JayKay says:

I’ve just realised what’s missing from Jack! You need some warm-coloured bounceback light from the specs on the skin around the his eyes. There. Done. Hahaha!

May 29, 2010 at 10:40 am
Tommy says:

Unbelievable! Could you please post a blog of things you are bad at? Would be interesting to see what you can’t do as you seem to be an endless stream of talent.

August 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm
Angie says:

You’re talent makes me want to cry and give up but at the same time determined to practise every day so I can one day be as good as you at painting wrinkles! 😀 Fantastic dude!

August 27, 2010 at 9:00 pm
Mark says:

I have to post just to say one word. “WOW”.

Must be a great feeling to be able to have that awesome artistic talent.

August 28, 2010 at 9:55 am
Amy Kelly says:

They’re savage.. pity i don’t know who the people are if I did i would be able to compare ur pictures to d real people xx 😛

September 2, 2010 at 9:03 am
Camden says:

Is it just me or does Jack look a bit like Clive Anderson here?

September 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm
Wasim says:

WOW, I had no idea you could do this. Talented guy !!